I’ve never been very good at talking.
At primary school I was cast as a mouse in the school play: all I had to do was say “squeak, squeak”.
The career advice I was given at secondary school was to become a librarian.
I didn’t want to become a librarian (or be a mouse) – I wanted to be able to speak.
There have been times in my life when I felt, finally, that some degree of fluency was coming through. But I’ve never quite reached the point of feeling that I could say what I wanted or needed to say, in any given situation. I think that’s why I’ve turned to writing poetry, because however much the spoken word evades me, and for whatever reason, I can express myself in poetry, one way or another. It doesn’t mean I don’t end up feeling ‘dumb’ and stupid in conversation when my brain can’t tune in to what is being said. However, in more positive moments I can also reflect on the many facets of communication, and the importance of being heard, in one way or another.